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Financial Flash Newsletter

November 2016 Edition

2016 Women & Money Conference: Money. Choice. Empowerment.

The Women's Financial Empowerment Center held the fifth Women & Money conference on Saturday October 22nd. Nearly 100 women learned ways to recognize detrimental money behaviors, "change the choice" and become empowered in their financial lives. Led by Keynote Speaker, OnTrack WNC's very own Sarah Brown, women heard and offered stories of strength, courage and change. In addition, high-impact workshops presented by local financial professionals gave women in-depth information on a variety of topics. Conference evaluation comments included: "The speaker and educators were excellent. Their knowledge and motivation are extremely welcoming and appreciated." "I greatly enjoyed the workshops; they were very informative; I look forward to applying what I learned."

A special thanks to the Exclusive Sponsor, Starks Financial Group!

 

Holidays Are Here... So Are Money Saving Tips!

Download your free Guide to a Festive & Frugal Holiday Season on OnTrack WNC's online resource page and check out the ideas below! 

The Kitchen: 6 Ways to Host Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

Kiplinger: 4 Tips to Keep Holiday Spending in Check


Bankrate.com: Tips for Stretching Your Holiday Budget from Bankrate.com

US News: Celebrating Hanukkah on a Dime

 

New Grants Support Homeownership

Our robust, high-impact Homebuyer Program includes Homebuyer Education, counseling, proactive development of an Action Plan, and supportive accountability.

Thanks to the following financial institutions for newly announced grant support which helps us serve over 300 potential homebuyers each year!

- TD Charitable Foundation - $5,000
- Wells Fargo Foundation - $7,000
- PNC Foundation - $10,000

 

'Tis the Season: OnTrack WNC's Ten Thousand Villages Shopping

10,000 Villages LogoThis holiday season Ten Thousand Villages in downtown Asheville is offering TWO ways for your purchases to benefit OnTrack WNC:

#1: Our Community Shopping Night is set for Friday, December 9th from 4pm to 7pm. That night, several of our staff and board members will be at the Ten Thousand Villages in downtown Asheville greeting shoppers with cider and cookies. When you mention our agency name, OnTrack WNC gets 15% of all sales!

#2: Plus, two weeks of shopping, During the two weeks Monday, November 28th - Friday, December 9th, shop at Ten Thousand Villages and mention OnTrack WNC at the checkout counter so that 15% of your purchase will be donated to us.

Ten Thousand Villages provides vital, fair income to craftspeople in developing countries by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Join us as we support our global AND local community. Use your purchasing power to change the world through fair trade!

Donate Now

In-The-News

Asheville's Housing Crisis Applies to the Rental Market
WLOS, November 17, 2016

Dreams of a Better Life Prompted Move to U.S - An OnTrack WNC Client Story

Asheville Citizen-Times, November 4, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the October program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

November 5th: Mike Byer shares the basics of ebay and provides tips for getting started, defining your market, designing your listing, understanding the flow of money, saving money on shipping, and pricing your product to sell.

November 12th: Dawn Klug, Operations Manager for the Employee Assistance Network shares insights and information to help manage life stress - whether from daily life, the election or the holiday season.

November 19th: Betty Doll and Nathan Garnett from Doll & Associates join us for Long-Term Care Awareness month, explain this type of insurance, and review various approaches to long-term care planning.

November 26th: As winter approaches with the possibility of severe winter weather, Tabatha Hamlin, State Farm Agent, offers tips for preparing your business for natural disasters and handling the aftermath if one strikes.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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October 2016 Edition

Rock Concert and Financial Literacy... Huh?

Thanks to the sponsorship of Starks Financial Group on October 3rd & 4th over 1,000 students at three local middle schools received financial literacy education and a rock concert! The events were part of a nationwide initiative called "Funding the Future" founded by the band's lead singer Gooding. In the fun, high-energy setting, students at Asheville Middle, Erwin Middle and Owen Middle learned about budgeting, wise use of credit, dangerous debt, and the importance of having good credit score. OnTrack WNC partnered with United Way's Middle School Success Program and the principals at the schools to make these programs a reality. To see the band in action, watch WLOS TV's Never Stop Learning feature story here.

October brings ... Halloween! 

Find out ways to cut costs and still be festive this Halloween: 
17 terrific tips to save on costumes for trick or treating
Don't want to spend a lot this year on Halloween decorations? Here are helpful and fun tips for spookifying your house without spending a lot!  

Women & Money

 

Say BOO to Scammers' Latest Tricks

Save the tricks and treats for Halloween and protect yourself and your family from costly scams that compromise your finances, put you at risk for identity theft and jeopardize your credit. North Carolinians are fortunate to have a wonderful resource with up-to-date alerts about swindlers' tactics, ways to report scams and steps to take if you've been a victim. See the alerts here

In-The-News

WLOS TV's Never Stop Learning Funding the Future Financial Literacy Concerts at local middle schools here.

Life after college: Students in debt over $10,000 on average

The Bluebanner.net
, October 5, 2016

Free OnTrack WNC Money Management Class on October 6 in Waynesville
The Mountaineer
, September 30, 2016

OnTrack WNC Women & Money Conference Set
Asheville Citizen-Times
, September 21, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the October program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

October 1st: As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Julie Klipp-Nicholson, the Buncombe County Family Justice Center Coordinator, shares information about domestic and sexual violence in our community and the important, centralized resources available to help survivors. Let's all do our part to say eNOugh!

October 8th: Jeff Staudinger, Assistant Director of Asheville's Community & Economic Development Department provides information about the Asheville Housing Fair on October 8th and discusses our community's affordable housing challenges.

October 15th: Esther Manheimer, Asheville's Mayor, and Kit Cramer, Asheville Area Chamber CEO, explain the need and plan for projects included the bond referenda which will be on the ballot on November 8th. Learn more here.

October 22nd: Ed Hillman, Ministries Director at Givens Estate and member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance discusses funerals, cremation and other new options available at the end of life. He offers statistics, costs and tips for planning ahead.

October 29th: Don't let financial tricks haunt you this Halloween season; Celeste Collins reviews the latest financial scams, fraud and exploitation so you'll know what to look out for!

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

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September 2016 Edition

Fifth Third's eBus September Tour includes Western North Carolina!

  • Friday September 16th - Ingles 2913 US 70 Hwy, Black Mountain, NC
  • Friday September 23rd - Ingles 684 N Broad St., Brevard, NC
    Open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. OnTrack WNC staff will be in the eBus to provide FREE credit reports and scores. Walk-ins are encouraged.

Asheville Housing Fair - Saturday October 8, 2016 10am-2pm 

Come to the Stephens-Lee Center in Asheville for the 2016 Housing Fair to find information, resources and experts to guide you in the right direction for homebuying, renting, improving credit, vacation rentals, and even tiny homes! With workshops focused on practical "how-to" guidance and housing resources on site to discuss your needs, this FREE, community event is the place for all things related to affordable housing opportunities. Learn more at www.ashevillehousingfair.com.

Better Business Bureau FREE Shred Day
Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

It's that time of year again! Saturday October 9th is the semi-annual Better Business Bureau (BBB), OnTrack WNC and American Security Shredding event: "Shred Day/Secure Your Identity" Day!

Bring up to 50 pounds of confidential information to the BBB's office at Executive Park - College Street parking lot in Asheville and take an important step to protect your identity.

Women & Money 2016

In-The-News

OnTrack WNC offers identity theft prevention class -
Asheville Citizen-Times, September 7, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the September program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

September 3rd: The first weekend in September was Labor Day, the yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, but LABOR also means childbirth! This show features host Celeste Collins who shares information about the costs of having children and raising children.

September 10th: Thomas Witherspoon, King of Frugality, shares tips for eating healthy on the cheap - whether at home, at work or on vacation.

September 17th: Judith Stroud, State Farm Agent, reveals important considerations in evaluating your need for Long-term Care Insurance and determining what coverage to buy.

September 24th: Since the Women & Money Conference and Savvy Women are coming up in October, Dawn Starks and Rachel Tanksley from Starks Financial Group  provide highlights of the events, information about registering, and facts and stats designed to inspire women to take charge of their financial lives!

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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August 2016 Edition

Dread Spending Money on Back-to-School Expenses?

Back to School SuppliesWhen August rolls around, families with children are faced with shopping for the new school year. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation's annual survey, in 2016 total spending for K-12 and college is expected to reach $75.8 billion, up from last year's $68 billion.

If you are looking for ways to make the most of the money you spend, click here for Back-to-School Shopping Tips for 2016.

 

 

 

Fifth Third Bank Supports OnTrack WNC's Credit Awareness Work 

Fifth Third Bank logoWe are thrilled to announce that Fifth Third Bank is our new Exclusive Sponsor of monthly Credit Awareness Days. On the second Friday each month from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. people in the community have the opportunity to get a FREE credit report and score at OnTrack WNC's Asheville Office.

"This partnership gives our bank the opportunity to support services that help consumers rebuild credit to reach financial goals such as homeownership," said Joel Dancy, Fifth Third's Vice President, Community Development-North Carolina.

Watch for more information about Fifth Third's eBus tour in September which will bring access to credit reports and scores to Asheville and Brevard.

FREE Home Energy Efficiency Classes Thanks to The Biltmore Company®!

We are excited to announce that beginning in September, The Biltmore Company® will once again sponsor OnTrack WNC's quarterly Home Energy Efficiency Class! This popular class is full of hands-on instruction to help you make affordable, money-saving energy upgrades to your home or apartment. In fact, participants can expect to a 30% savings in their utilities by implementing ideas learned in class. All participants receive a bag of helpful energy savings tools which are provided at no cost thanks to The Biltmore Company's support!

 

Women: Make Your Voice Heard ~ Saturday August 27th!

Women's General AssemblyThe Buncombe County Women's Commission and the YWCA are pleased to announce the 2016 Women's Agenda Assembly on Saturday August 27th from 9:00 to 1:00 at the First Congregational UCC. Comprising 51% of our country's population, women continue to be under-represented as voters, political leaders and elected officials.  Join us as we work for equal access to healthcare, education and employment, violence towards women and discrimination and stereotyping which still occur in every society.

This is your chance to be with others to discuss policy issues and express your views on issues that impact women and families. All women are welcome! Free childcare and lunch. Sign up to attend. Learn more here.

Women and Money Save the Date 2016

 

In-The-News

OnTrack WNC holds free seminar "Raising A Money-Smart Child"
Mountain Xpress, August 9, 2016

 

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the August program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

August 6th: Looking for ways to pay for college? Laura Misner, Regional Representative with College Foundation of NC, describes the free resources available through www.cfnc.org to help parents and students plan, apply and pay for college.

August 13th: Shelley Brown, Chairwoman of the Buncombe County Women's Commission, reviews the purpose of the commission and the opportunity for women in Buncombe County to participate in the Women's Agenda Assembly on August 27th. Learn more here.

August 20th: Confused about credit scores? Join us for expert information from Barry Paperno, who served for decades in the credit industry with FICO and Experian and now writes a weekly credit advice column "Speaking of Credit" for CreditCards.com.

August 27th: Fifth Third Bank is our new Credit Awareness Day sponsor! Jason Stenger, Fifth Third Bank Vice President, provides an introduction to the bank, highlights of their Credit Awareness Day sponsorship, information about their new down payment assistance program, and a preview of eBus events coming up in September.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

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July 2016 Edition

2016 Elder Fraud & Scam Summit

Elaine Marshall and David KirkmanThe 7th annual Summit on June 29th welcomed keynote speakers NC Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall and Special Deputy Attorney General, David Kirkman (At left: pictured with OnTrack WNC Executive Director, Celeste Collins).

Over 90 attendees learned important information for preventing, detecting, and reporting financial exploitation targeted at the senior citizens. Participants included bankers, financial planners, CPAs, law enforcement, Dept. of Health & Human Service staff, and nonprofit staff. To learn steps you can take to protect yourself and others visit www.sosnc.gov and www.ncdoj.gov.

OnTrack WNC Announces New Counseling for Student Loan Debt!

College GraduatesDid you know that forty million Americans now have student loan debt totaling more than $1.3 trillion? In fact, the average borrower has four student loans and $29,000 in debt.

One in five is late on payments and one in ten is in default. Many others are racking up interest while their loans are in forbearance.

Yeah - it's that bad.

Good news: OnTrack WNC can help you get control over student loan debt so it doesn't control you! We are participating in a national initiative with two ways you can get help:

  1. Do It Yourself: Use our new, free DIY Student Loan Debt Guide to address Student Loan debt on your own.
  2. Let Us Help: If you find yourself overwhelmed by the multitude of options (income-driven repayment plans, forbearance, forgiveness, rehabilitation - Oye!), contact us to schedule a counseling appointment for holistic student loan debt counseling. A counselor will look at your whole financial picture from budget to career plans and show you the options available for your specific situation. Often, we can get you enrolled in a repayment program on the spot. The fee for our student loan debt counseling is based on your income and ranges from $75 to $150.

Mortgage Payment Program Still Offers Assistance! 

If you or someone you know is going through a temporary financial crisis, such as unemployment, divorce, illness, or death of a co-borrower, the NC Foreclosure Prevention Loan Fund, could assist with mortgage payments.

If you're approved, the Fund will pay your mortgage payments and related expenses while you search for a job or retrain for a new career. The assistance is available for up to 36 months or $36,000. It is a zero interest, no payment, forgivable loan. Call us or click to learn more about eligibility: 828.255.5166, extension 3.

Thanks for the Memories: Youth Financial Literacy Programs Discontinued

In the last five years, we have reached over 8,000 students in western NC with financial education! We could not have done it without more than 75 volunteers. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for Youth Financial Literacy Programs!

Sad Announcement: Because of lack of funding, we are discontinuing our Youth Financial Literacy Programs effective July 1st. Over 18 months we applied for more than $120K in grants and other funding, but sadly none were approved. Without adequate funding, OnTrack WNC can't continue to devote staff time and resources to coordinating and offering youth programs including DIME-a-Saurus, Mad City Money, Girls' Money Clubs, and education programs in classrooms. 

We appreciate the leadership of the program coordinator, Molly Coffey, who has done an exceptional job coordinating with many schools, organizations and volunteers.  Molly will shift her time and talents into counseling. We are delighted to keep her expertise and energy here at OnTrack WNC in a different capacity.

 

In-The-News

OnTrack WNC hosts free identity theft protection class July 28 at Pack Library
Mountain Xpress, July 11, 2016

Preventing Identity Theft Class at Pack Memorial Library
Rapid River Magazine, July 11, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the July program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

July 2nd: If you are concerned about frauds and scams that target older adults, NC Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, and NC Special Deputy Attorney General, David Kirkman, provide warning signs and steps to take to protect yourself and those you love.

July 9th: It's wedding season! Allison Taylor from WNC Weddings & Events offers tips, ideas and wisdom for planning your special event.

July 16th: Over 43 million people have student loan debt totaling $1.3 trillion! Kathryn Beach, certified Student Loan Debt Counselor, announces OnTrack WNC's NEW program to help people deal with Student Loan Debt.

July 23rd: Rachel Tanksley and Jennifer Adams from Starks Financial Group share financial insights for college planning, saving for the expenses of higher education, and student loan repayment.

July 30th: Wondering what is going on to support at-risk young men without fathers in our community? Keynon Lake introduces us to the program he founded: My Daddy Taught Me That.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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June 2016 Edition

June is Homeownership Month!  

Homebuyer ProgramDon't let the complex and intimidating process of buying a home stop you from realizing your dream! Take the first step by signing up for our comprehensive Homebuyer Program. We combine education and counseling so you can build financial knowledge/tools for budgeting, saving, improving credit, to realize your dream of buying a home. Wherever you are in the homebuying process we'll provide the support you need to reach your goal of homeownership.

For inspiration, check out the podcasts of Money Matters shows that feature local professionals who describe different stages of buying a home (listed below under the Money Matters section). Special thanks for Homebuyer Program sponsorships from Asheville Savings Bank, HomeTrust Bank, and Mosaic Lifestyle Realty; program funding from Mission Health System and The Biltmore Company; and grant support from The CFWNC Asheville Merchants Fund, PNC Bank, and United Way. Learn more about Buying A Home

 

Another Great Year for OnTrack WNC's Free Tax Prep Program...

Tax Volunteers2016 was another successful year of our Free Tax Preparation Program with 1,002 returns completed for total refunds of $747,893. The average household income for our tax clients was $23,057 and, because our service is FREE, each client saved $200 - $400 in tax preparation fees. This important work would not be possible without the dedication, time, and energy of our fabulous VOLUNTEER tax preparers and the sponsorships and grant support! Find out more...

And the Winners Are...!  

Board SuperstarsAt the May Board of Directors' meeting we celebrated board members Vicki Banks,VP with The Biltmore Company, and Bill Carrington, Regional Director of Self-Help Credit Union, as the Board Superstars. In this annual contest board members earn points toward their "Credit Score" by supporting OnTrack WNC programs, using connections to expand the agency's opportunities, securing program/event sponsorships, and being ambassadors for OnTrack WNC. Congratulations and thanks to Vicki and Bill who both earned 2,230 Credit Score points to win the coveted bobble-head Board Super Star Trophy!

Summer Money

It's summer and for most of us that means a shift in our expenses. To keep the summer from blowing up your money plans, consider these expenses and links to resources. If you have an idea you'd like to share, email us at and watch for your ideas in a future addition of the Financial Flash!

- Temperatures are rising and your electricity bill might be too. Check out summer energy saving tips from the US Department of Energy.
- US News offers 10 Tips for Summer savings on everything from food to potluck parties to home improvements to clothes and travel.
- Looking for summer fun for your kids without breaking the bank? Intuit TurboTax has 5 Money Saving Tips for Kids. 

Of course, the need to save money isn't limited to summer. America Saves has 54 Ways to Save.

In-The-News

New matched-saving grants to pull people out of poverty
 Asheville Citizen-Times, June 13, 2016 

Community Foundation Announces Grant Awards
Mountain Xpress, June 9, 2016

OnTrack WNC Offers Free Budgeting 101 at Asheville Library 
Asheville Citizen-Times, June 8, 2016

Women in real estate swing hammers for Habitat
The Mountaineer, May 7, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the May/June program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

MAY:
May 7th: What do fly fishing, finances and veterans have in common? Find out from Ryan Harman, NC Coordinator for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and financial advisor with Edward Jones.

May 14th: Dreaming of an epic vacation? Celeste Collins shares tips for planning and saving for that special trip!

May 21st: State Farm Agent, Bill Russell, offers important information for changing home insurance if you move and great tips on car insurance, awareness of impaired drivers, and items to include in your car emergency kit.

May 28th: The Memorial Day Weekend show includes highlights of the 2016 Financial Literacy Luncheon and a smorgasbord of fun and funny money anecdotes.

JUNE:
June 4th: Jill Sparks, AB Tech Small Business Center & Business Incubation, explains the important small business programs and services available and gives an overview of the "Rock the World Shape the Future" Women's Business Conference on Thursday, June 30th.

June 11th: Dream of owning your own home? Good news:  Jonathan Stansell, OnTrack WNC's Homebuyer Programs Manager, provides information about our Homebuyer Program and Fair Housing, which will inspire you to take steps toward homeownership! 

June 18th: Mortgage Loan Experts Jennifer Duvall, VP, Asheville Savings Bank, and Jill Dotson, Loan Officer, HomeTrust Bank explain what impacts your ability to qualify, steps to be ready for your application, and mortgage programs that can make your homeownership dream a reality.

June 25th: Finding the right home is an important step. Hart Dahlhauser, Real Estate Broker - Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, shares tips for working with real estate professionals and finding the perfect home.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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2016 FACES of OnTrack WNC - Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once again our annual Financial Literacy Luncheon was a huge success. On May 20th nearly 200 people gathered at the Crest Conference Center & Pavilion to support OnTrack WNC's mission and recognize the 2016 Award Winners: Community Financial Literacy Partner Award: Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP; Credit Where Credit Is Due Award: Self-Help Credit Union; and the Volunteers of the Year: Cathy & David Brown.


In addition, we recognized three 2016 Clients of the Year:

  • Patricia Waters, the Face of Determination;
  • Rhonda Kensinger, the Face of Enthusiasm; and 
  • Carmen Govea, the Face of Triumph.

Thanks to sponsorships, ticket sales and in-kind contributions, the Financial Literacy Luncheon was financially successful raising over $42,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed, sponsored and attended!
 

Click here to read more about the event and our award winners.

Click here to visit our Financial Literacy Luncheon photo gallery.  

 

OnTrack WNC 2015 Annual Report
Highlights Program and Financial Performance 

2015 Annual Report

Click on image above to see our full 2015 Annual Report. 
Make a Donation Today to OnTrack WNC!

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April 2016 Edition

Financial Literacy or Financial Capability? 

financial capability month
OnTrack WNC has been integrating the Financial Capability model into our programs by helping clients create and commit to meaningful action steps to realize goals. What, you might ask, is the difference between Financial Literacy and Financial Capability? 
- Financial Literacy refers to skills and knowledge that allow a person to make informed and effective decisions with all their financial resources.
- The Center for Financial Inclusion defines Financial Capability this way, "Financial Capability is not just what you know, but whether you have the willingness, confidence, and opportunity to act."

Simply put: Financial Literacy = knowledge + skills + wise decision-making. Financial Capability = financial literacy + action/behavior change + access to appropriate products.

Click the graphic above or listen to the April 16th Money Matters podcast to learn more about the Financial Capability Lifecycle and how our needs, goals, and opportunities change in various ages and stages of life.

Gain Financial Capability with an OnTrack WNC Class!

mom and daughterCheck out our upcoming classes and call today to register 828.255.5166. Thanks to our exclusive Adult Financial Literacy sponsor, HomeTrust Bank, our classes are offered free of charge. Come for a class and build skills to balance your budget, deal with debt, manage your money, improve your credit score and super-charge your savings.

Don't miss the chance to VOTE for OnTrack WNC in the HomeTrust Bank 90th anniversary nonprofit competition. Vote everyday and tell your friends! Your daily votes in April mean money for our agency!

HomeRun: Coaching for Homeownership 

Homerun Client QuoteIn 2009, OnTrack WNC was selected by the U.S. Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to receive a multi-year demonstration project grant. The program focused on helping very low-income household move from rental housing to become "homebuyer ready" through budgeting, credit improvement, saving, and paying down debt.

In the five-year grant period, 68 households participated. Of those households, 24 (35.3%) purchased a home and 6 (8.9%) qualified for a mortgage but had not yet purchased when the program ended December 31, 2015. The HomeRun program provided vital data nationally to use in assessing matched savings program, combined with financial education, counseling and coaching is a winning design. Full Program Report

SheVille Helps Promote the 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon 

ShevilleBecause SheVille believes that viable non-profit programs are essential to a healthy community, it is providing in-kind media sponsorship for our OnTrack WNC's 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon! Thank you SheVille!

The event is Friday May 20th at the Crest Conference Center & Pavilion. The morning seminar (10:00 - 11:15 a.m.) features Caroline Farmer, Deputy Director NC Attorney General's Office and her topic: Elder Financial Abuse: Detection & Prevention. The Awards Luncheon begins at 11:30 with lunch following. Tickets will be available to reserve online next Wednesday April 20th.

Raise Money for OnTrack WNC Without Spending a Dime!

Your vote for OnTrack WNC helps us win the HOMETRUST nonprofit competition for charitable dollars! Please vote everyday in April! Click here and choose us in HomeTrust's Buncombe/Henderson region. We appreciate your support!!

In-The-News

Asheville bank giving away $90,000 to community groups
Asheville Citizen-Times, April 4, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the April program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am.Podcasts are available here 

April 2nd: How can IRAs help you save for retirement and maybe save on taxes? Rachel Tanksley, Starks Financial Group, talks about types of IRAs, dollar cost averaging, and retirement planning mistakes to avoid!

April 9th: Norma Messer, President of The Better Business Bureau serving Asheville and Western NC discusses facts, stats and warning to protect yourself and your children from the latest identity theft scams.

April 16th: Special guest, Kate Griffin, Vice President of Program from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), shares insights about the Financial Capability Lifecycle and CFED initiatives that make it possible for millions of people to achieve financial security and contribute to an opportunity economy.

April 23rd: OnTrack WNC's Mortgage Payment Program counseling team, Amanda Orders and Kathryn Beach overview the eligibility and access to this important assistance which pays mortgage payments for people experiencing temporary financial hardship, such as unemployment.

April 30th: We'll end Financial Literacy Month will a two-fer show. In the first half Christine Dozier and Paul Heathman share highlights of HomeTrust's 90th anniversary, the nonprofit competition (Click here to vote for OnTrack WNC!), and its commitment to financial education. Part two includes a preview of OnTrack WNC's 2016 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon on May 20th at the Crest Conference Center and Pavilion. Learn more here.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

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March 2016 Edition

NEW DATE: Save The Date! OnTrack WNC's Annual Financial Literacy Luncheon - Friday, May 20, 2016

Mark your calendar TODAY! Watch your mailbox in April for our invitation.

Morning Seminar: 10am - 11:15am
Luncheon & Awards: 11:30am - 1:00pm

 

 

State Farm® Presents $30,000 in Grant Support

State Farm check presentationOn Saturday March 12th, State Farm Agents Judy Stroud, Bill Russell,Tabatha Hamlin (pictured left) and Kim Conyers, State Farm® Public Affairs Community Specialist were guests on OnTrack WNC's Money Matters radio show. In addition to participating in the radio show, they presented Celeste Collins with a $30,000 check from the State Farm® Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant program.

This grant will support OnTrack WNC's weekly radio program, Money Matters, and the Women's Financial Empowerment Center and the annual Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon. The State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship grants fund programs that build safer, stronger, and better educated communities.

Nationwide Financial Literacy Initiative:
OnTrack WNC + Libraries

OnTrack WNC and two library systems are joining forces to offer FREE financial education classes in 2016. The classes are part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's nationwide initiative which capitalizes on the unique role of libraries as places where people go for community and for information.These financial education opportunities are open to the community and there is no charge to attend.

Buncombe County LibraryThe Buncombe County series kicks off with Understanding Credit which will be held on Thursday March 24 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Pack Memorial Library at 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Click here to see the complete workshop schedule for Pack Memorial Library.

Transylvania County LibraryThe Transylvania series begins with Preventing Identity Theft on Thursday, April 7 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. The class will be held at the Transylvania County Library at 212 South Gaston Street in Brevard. This financial education opportunity is open to the community and there is no charge to attend. Click here to see the complete workshops schedule for Transylvania County Library. 

Top Tips for Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

Spring cleaning is for more than closets and dresser draws! To inspire and motivate you to give your money life a little TLC, click here for a sampling of Spring Cleaning Tips from:

 1. Suzee Orman
 2. US News & World Report
 3. LearnVest
 4. My Credit Union.gov
 5. OnTrack WNC

 

Protect Your Identity ~ FREE Shred Day 
Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM  

Just in time for spring cleaning: Shred Day! The Better Business Bureau (BBB), OnTrack WNC, and American Security Shredding are once again teaming up to offer a free document shredding day on Saturday April 16th from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm. What should be shredded? Old tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, medical records, and insurance information. Anything that contains confidential and/or identifying information. Check out this IRS / BBB document retention schedule for ideas on what you can get rid of! Bring up to 50 pounds to the BBB's office at Executive Park - College Street parking lot in Asheville and take an important step to protect your identity.

 

In-The-News

CC Communications Creates a Customized Mobile Website for OnTrack WNC
CC Communications, March 2016

OnTrack WNC Launches 2016 Financial Education Classes March 24 at Pack Memorial Library
Mountain Xpress, March 9, 2016

OnTrack WNC Financial Education & Counseling Co-Sponsors Buncombe County Candidate Forum
Mountain Xpress, February 29, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the March program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

March 5th: With a special focus on small business this show featured local resources Tommy Dennison, Business Development Officer with The Support Center and Sandra Dennison, General Business Counselor, with the Small Business Technology and Development Center (SBTDC)

March 12th: State Farm representatives (pictured above) shared important tips for minimizing risks. They also presented OnTrack WNC's 2016 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant award. Thank you State Farm®.

March 19th: Cindy McMahon, Senior Consultant with WNC Nonprofit Pathways discusses the impact of nonprofits in our region and her organization's programs available to strengthen these valuable resources.

March 26: Money Matters host Celeste Collins helps you turn your spring cleaning into cash with tips for effective yard and consignment sales. 
 
Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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February 2016 Edition

It's Tax Time Again!

Tax Volunteers

Tax Volunteers: Jack Laughlin, Barry Paperno,
Ali Schuetze, Jessica Stavish and Charlotte Kaplan.

Now that January 31st has passed you should have all the documents you need to file your taxes. Click here for Top Ten Tax Time Tips straight from the IRS. 

The OnTrack WNC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site kicked off free tax services with a team of 15 dedicated, kind, professional, IRS-trained volunteers, and 1 Spanish language interpreter, led by Molly Coffey, OnTrack WNC's Tax Project Coordinator. Since 2007 our VITA site has helped more than 4,500 taxpayers complete and file taxes to receive over $6.1 million in refunds and credits.

Our tax site would not be possible without our amazing sponsors Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP and NC Association of CPAs, plus grant support from The Community Foundation of Western NC and the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Thank you!

 

FAFSA Day - Saturday February 20, 2016

CFNC.orgFAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It's a form used to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid. On FAFSA Day College, Saturday February 20th, College Foundation of NC will team up with college financial aid officers and other volunteers at sites throughout the state to provide assistance in completing the form. The program is open to students who plan to attend college in the 2016-17 academic year. Click here for more information and a map showing the location in your county. 

 

Save The Date! OnTrack WNC's Annual Financial Literacy Luncheon - Friday, May 6, 2016 

FLL table settingMark your calendar TODAY! Watch your mailbox in April for our invitation.

Morning Seminar: 10am - 11:15am

Luncheon & Awards: 11:30am - 1:00pm

 

 

 

 

Bringing It Home

 

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the February program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

February 6th: If you want to understand the basics and the importance of life and disability insurance, you'll want to listen to tips and insights from Tabatha Hamlin, State Farm Agent.

February 13th: Wondering what to give your special someone for Valentine's Day? How about a healthy relationship with money? Sara Bensman, of Sara Bensman Mediation and Consulting shares common pitfalls and solutions for navigating our relationships and money.

February 20th: Self-Help Credit Union WNC Regional Director, Jane Hatley and Kimberly Hunter SHCU Advisory Board Member, share exciting information about the upcoming "Bringing It Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone" on Tuesday March 15th. To learn more and register www.bringingithomewnc.org

February 27th: It's time to think about how to Plan, Apply, and Pay for college with the help of Laura Misner, College Foundation of NC. Learn about this wonderful FREE resource available to all North Carolinians.

  Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

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January 2016 Edition

Let Us Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions!

 New Years ResolutionsFinancial goals for 2016? Check out these targeted programs:
 $ Pay Down Debt - Schedule a FREE appointment with an OnTrack WNC financial counselor for a debt assessment to create a plan to pay down your debt.
 $ Improve Credit - OnTrack WNC's FREE Credit Class is offered weekly in Asheville and is a great first step on the path to better credit.
 $ Buy a Home - Gain knowledge about the process, create a personal Homebuying Action Plan, and have the support of OnTrack WNC's housing counselors in our Homebuyer Program
$ Manage Money and Credit Better - Click here for our
 Education Schedule.

 

End of Year Giving Total

 

Tax Refund - Save To Win! 

Tax Save to WinWe are excited to announce that after a successful pilot of the "Tax Refund Save to Win Program" in 2015, long-time Tax Project sponsor, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLC is, once again, providing the exclusive sponsorship. This initiative provides incentives to OnTrack WNC's tax clients who agree to save $500 or half of their tax refund (whichever is less). The goal is to help people establish savings. Please note that this program is only available to people who have their taxes prepared by OnTrack WNC.

Learn more about our Tax Save to Win Program.

 

 

 

Ask A CPA Day - Huge Success!

ncaCPA logoOn Saturday January 9, 2016 Certified Public Accountants from the Western Carolina Chapter of the North Carolina Association of CPAs offered FREE professional advice on taxes, deductions, accounting, small business recording keeping, and more.

We are grateful to the local CPAs who volunteered their time to offer 44 appointments throughout the day. This annual event is coordinated by Ed Fidelman, CPA, who was inspired to offer this service after volunteering to help victims of hurricane Katrina.

One client who came in for an appointment emailed to say, "I just wanted to say how happy I am that I made an appointment for Ask A CPA Day! The gentleman I spoke with was a perfect match for the questions/issues I had and I left OnTrack WNC very encouraged and with more answers than I expected. Thank you, Mr. Bennett, and thank you, OnTrack WNC!"

 

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the January program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

January's shows feature resources, tips and information to help YOU in 2016!

January 2nd: Would you like to MAKE and KEEP a new year's resolution about money? Have you ever connected DIET resolutions with FINANCIAL resolutions? Celeste Collins makes the connection and shares ideas and tools to use with your money in 2016. OnTrack WNC's education classes could be the catalyst you need! 

January 9th: Financial, credit, budget and housing counseling as well as education can help you reach your goals in the new year. This Money Matters show makes it easy learn more about OnTrack WNC's programs for homebuying, getting out of debt, improving credit and managing your money, plus options for debt consolidation.   

January 16th: Anthony Jimenez, OnTrack WNC Financial/Housing Counselor & Educator offers tips and tools for your journey toward homeownership and gives the highlights of local employer-sponsored matched savings programs.

January 23rd: Susan Lupton, Senior Policy Associate with The Center for Responsible Lending explains North Carolina's strong history of consumer protection and the urgent Call To Action to provide the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with input about Payday Lending as it develops policies for regulating this industry. 

January 30th: Rachel Tanksley-Russell, Starks Financial Group, introduces their 2016 Savvy Women series. These quarterly educational presentations will be offered throughout the year starting with the topic "Financial Transitions" on Thursday February 11th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. For more information go here.  

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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2015 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2014 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

 

United Way NFCC Council on Accreditation